Dear potential MIL, we are happy to wait for someone. The someone whose family will understand our ambitions and treat us as a humans.
My heart bleeds at the kind of behaviour towards the women in our country. But before we blame only patriarchy for this, there are certain other things we need to pay attention to as well. We need to look at the women around us.
Most of these women, be it our mothers, grandmothers and aunts, especially the ones with sons are constantly hunting for the ideal daughter-in-law. And the selection criteria for these daughters-in-law ranges from being a skilled cook to being able to make love to their sons perfectly. Because, how can you not excel in cooking and cleaning! Do you want our sons to die?
You may excel at your job and earn six digit figures, but knowing how to cook and doing the household work is the bare minimum for my DIL. If you have any other talents, they help us brag about you to the outside world and prove our forward thinking nature. Plus, it helps us show you that as women, we are on your team too!
When we entered our houses as newly married brides, we endured the same behaviour all our lives. But now it is our turn to draw sadistic pleasure by passing on the legacy. Or wait. Is it about revenge? Have we, somewhere, become accustomed to this behaviour and it started looking fair? Or was it because the system became an integral part of our lives and our patis became our parameshwars.
Now we know that our sons deserve the same treatment- they need to be treated like they are your pati parameshwar. So, dear to-be daughter-in-law, you better qualify our parameters or there is nothing stopping us from bitching about you day in and day out.
Almost all our married lives, our competency was judged on our ability to do household work. And as the perfect mothers and wives, we have the license to question you about your ability to do the household work. Whether you flew to the moon or are running a country, we need to know if you can keep your husband happy. Thus, we will say this, “Can you do the household work and keep your husband happy? If not, your existence is under question, my dear. And you cannot be a part of our family.”
Well, dear mummy-ji’s or potential mummy-ji’s, as the women of the new era, we have something to say as well. You see, we all grew up hearing the same things from our elders so much that it doesn’t bother us anymore.
Yes, you read that right. We are sorry to disappoint you but we have come so far ahead in our lives with minimal support, we are now self-sufficient. So if we don’t qualify according to your bahu material standards, we are okay with it. We are happy to wait for someone. The someone whose family will understand our ambitions and not treat us as mere house-helps. And believe us, we have thought this through.
As for us proving our mettle, delivering a presentation or winning a contract is worth more than the praises we will get by becoming the ‘shobha’ of your house. Because guess what! Cooking and sweeping the house are side jobs. They do not bring us the same satisfaction that excelling all the tasks and outshining men at work does.
I do hope you get this point someday and that it happens soon, for it is your sons who are losing out by then. So hurry up, please?
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Veere Di Wedding
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